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Showing posts from January, 2019

Day 21

“When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.” Nehemiah 8:1
The walls have been rebuilt and the Israelites gather together as one man to hear the Word of the Lord. As Ezra opens the book, “all the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (8:5,6). As the word of God was read, the Levites instructed the people while they stood there so that they could understand what was being read (8:7,8). In response, the people wept and mourned as they listened to the words of the Law (8:9). However, Nehemiah said to the people that they should not weep …

Day 20

“Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt.” Nehemiah 7:4

The walls have been rebuilt but the city is not fully occupied. Houses need to be rebuilt and people are needed to inhabit the city. Nehemiah therefore takes a census of Israel with the purpose of casting lots “to bring one out of every ten” from the surrounding villages to live in Jerusalem (see 11:1). For the city to be strong, it not only needed strong walls but it needed its houses to be rebuilt and the city to be occupied.

We have seen how important it is that we protect the walls in our lives that God has rebuilt. However, we must also recognise that God wants to rebuild and occupy our inner life. The broken walls in our lives may have resulted in damage to our inner life that needs to be restored and occupied with the Spirit of God. Hurt, disappointment, oppression, offense, sin or perhaps unbelief have destroyed “the houses” and left a vacuum in your life…

Day 19

“After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed.” Nehemiah 7:1 

Having rebuilt the walls and gates, Nehemiah appoints gatekeepers, musicians and the Levites to guard the doors, to worship and to intercede for the people, respectively. Jerusalem is to be protected from the enemy and the gatekeepers are appointed to decide who may enter the city and who may not. The musicians are appointed to worship and praise God and are even placed on the wall during the dedication of the wall (see 12:31)! The Levites are to perform “the service of their God and the service of purification” for the people (see 12:45). The ministries of the gatekeepers, the musicians and the priests require discernment, devotion and dedication. Once our spiritual walls are rebuilt, we need discernment, devotion and dedication to protect what God has restored in our lives. Discernment to know what is, and what is not of God, before we open t…

Day 18

“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15,16

The wall is rebuilt! Nehemiah and his people persevered to the end. Nehemiah believed God, resisted the enemy, held on to the vision and did not give up. Jerusalem’s walls and gates are rebuilt and stand as a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power. Israel’s enemies recognise God’s hand upon His people and lose their self-confidence. Now Israel’s enemies are intimidated by the realization that God’s supernatural presence and power have enabled Nehemiah and his people to rebuild Jerusalem in just 52 days! A vision fulfilled is a testimony for God’s glory and a banner of victory against the enemy. King David puts it like this: “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his hea…

Day 17

“Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, 'Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.' But I said, 'Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?I will not go in.' And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” Nehemiah 6:10-12
Tobiah and Sanballat continue to scheme against Nehemiah so “that (he) should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give (him) a bad name in order to taunt (him)” (6:13). Nehemiah sees right through the plot of hiring false prophets to persuade him to run and hide. He understood and saw that God had not sent Shemaiah nor the other prophets because they spoke contrary to what God had put …

Day 16

"They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.' But I prayed, 'Now strengthen my hands.'” Nehemiah 6:9 Apart from setting all the doors in the gates, the wall is repaired and the all the gaps are filled! Upon hearing this, Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and the enemies of the Jewish people continue to try and intimidate and destroy Nehemiah. The next tactic of the enemy is to pull him away from the work, isolate him and kill him (see John 10:10). Messages are sent to Nehemiah trying to persuade him to go down from Jerusalem into the valley of Ono. With false rumours and lies about Nehemiah’s motives, Sanballat seeks to get Nehemiah to leave his place of security by reacting to the lies and leaving his work. Nehemiah recognises what is going on and prays that the Lord would strengthen his hands to continue the work. Once again, the Lord is exposing the tactics of the enemy in our lives. Satan see…

Day 15

“But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.” Nehemiah 5:15
In Nehemiah chapter 5 there is an outcry among the Jewish people concerning the injustice they had been experiencing among their fellow Jews and from the nobles and officials. People were being exploited and even children had to be sold as slaves to survive. The whole situation upset Nehemiah upon which he spoke to the leaders and said, “Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?” (5:9) Nehemiah addresses the real issue. Those who are mistreating their fellow men are not walking in the fear of the Lord. Nehemiah was different. He lived his life in reverence for God. In Isaiah 11:2 and 3 we read that the Spirit of the fear of the Lord will rest on Jesus (the stump of Jesse) and that he will delight in the fear of the Lord! To delight in the fear of the Lord is to find joy in God’s abiding presence and to live to give Him pleasure (see Rom 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:9,11). The fear of t…

Day 14

“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14 Once again, having heard “that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed”, Israel’s enemies became very angry and threatened to attack the city and the people (4:7).The enemy’s tactic is exposed once again! If he cannot stop God’s work through intimidation, privately and publicly, he will seek to attack those in the flock whose walls are at their lowest. The enemy tries to intimidate the weak so that they begin to sow doubt and fear within the flock! The people began to report, “our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.” Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us” (4:11,12). If the enemy cannot intimidate from the outside, he …

Day 13

“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, ‘What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?’ Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, ‘What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!’” Nehemiah 4:1-3


We have seen on day 7 and 10 what the enemy tries to do, to stop God’s work. Having heard that the Jews were rebuilding the wall and were well underway, Sanballat now mocks the Jews and their work publicly. He rallies others to join him in his attempt to intimidate the people and ridicule what they are trying to do. If the enemy cannot stop you in private, he will try to do so in public. He will gather others around him to intimidate and h…

Day 12

“Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.” Nehemiah 3:8
Nehemiah chapter 3 describes how all the people of Israel contributed and participated in the work of rebuilding the gates and walls of Jerusalem. It lists the names of the people, families, regions and groups that were a significant part of fulfilling the vision. Regardless of profession, status or family, they all helped for the common good. Uzziel, whose name means ‘My strength is God’ helped to build the wall, even though the work was completely different to his skills and delicate work as a goldsmith. The same applies to Hananiah who was a perfume-maker. When God shows us a problem, it is an invitation to be part of the solution in His strength. God calls us, not because we are qualified but because there is a need and He is looking for someone to say “yes” to Him and depend on…

Day 11

“Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.” Nehemiah 3:1

Nehemiah chapter 3 describes how the people of Israel began rebuilding the gates and the walls of Jerusalem. The spiritual leaders, the high priest and his fellow priests are mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. Eliashib, whose name means “God restores,” leads the way and together with the other priests restores the Sheep Gate and the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred and as far as the Tower of Hananel which means, “God has favoured.”
Jesus says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” John 10:9. I believe God is showing us here that because “God restores” and “God has favoured,” He pursues His sheep to restore them to Himself. God pursues us so that “the hundr…

Day 10

“But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’ I answered them by saying, ‘The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.’” Nehemiah 2:19,20
When we pursue our God-given vision, the enemy will seek to dissuade us by sowing doubt, intimidating us, and questioning our motives. In effect the enemy seeks to draw our attention to ourselves so that as we focus on ourselves and our own limitations, we lose focus of the One with whom all things are possible. After listening to the enemy and disobeying God in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve became self-conscious and hid from God (see Genesis 3). The enemy knows that self-consciousness draws us away from God and into ourselves. His tactic is to distract us, sow doubt in …

Day 9

“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’ I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.” Nehemiah 2:17,18 Nehemiah motivates his people to rebuild Jerusalem by pointing out the problem, the significance of what it means for everyone, testifying to God’s grace upon him, the king’s favour toward him and inviting everyone to be part of the solution. This is great leadership. In very few words, Nehemiah describes the vision, why it needs to be fulfilled, why it is going to be accomplished, how it will be accomplished and what role everyone has to be a significant part of the fulfilment of the vision. If we do not understand the problem, we will not take hold of the vision – God’s solution to bring about transformatio…

Day 8

“So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.” Nehemiah 2:11-16
Nehemiah told no one what his God had put on his heart to do for Jerusalem. He obeyed God in secret before making his plans…